Monday, December 23, 2019

About Me Monday + Inspire Me Monday + Inner Champion Workbook Chapter 8: Try New Things

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Something new I want to learn about or try:
I discovered the vegan recipe book by Chef Allyn Raifstanger through the Online Book Club. I have been wanting to start incorporating more vegetarian meals into my meal plans for years. I would never be able to be a vegan. I like cheese and omelets too much. It is also unlikely that I will ever be completely vegetarian. However, I would like to eventually eat more plant-based than meat-based meals.

I can cook, but the truth is, I'm a lazy cook without a lot of patience. Also, most vegan recipes leave me flat when it comes to flavor and hungry an hour later.

The person who reviewed this recipe book via Online Book Club tried some of the recipes. When she said that the "chicken" recipe she tried tasted like chicken and the author wasn't preachy about health or veganism, I knew I needed to give the book a look. I don't abide preachiness, and I don't need anyone triggering my abusive partner ED (Eating Disorder) to resurface.

My plan:
I am going to write down the ingredients I need and try the recipes in the book. I am also going to try the Every Plate delivery service. The ingredients come in the box with enough for two people and I don't have to go shopping for them. As I told you, I'm lazy. However, not all of it is laziness. I do have real problems with fatigue.

Every Plate is a lot less expensive than other boxed meal plans, making it a good option for families on a budget, which is pretty much everyone these days!

A routine or habit that I need to change:
My all-or-nothing thinking. My worst habit is to immediately tell myself how something will NOT work, and it always spirals into telling myself what a garbage excuse for a human being I am.

How I will replace the negative routine or habit with a positive one:
I don't know if I ever will entirely. However, I have to continue combating this thinking by telling my lousy inner critic to take a long walk off a short pier with raw steaks tied to them into a lake of hungry sharks and offering counter-points to her negative arguments.

This isn't the same as jumping into a potentially life-altering situation feet first without examining the potential repercussions. It simply means not telling myself that I'm trash for considering something in the first place.

How will this change make me a stronger and happier person?
Getting the Inner Jackwagon to shut up more often than not would help give me the confidence to make potentially positive changes. Believing in myself a little more couldn't hurt.

Also, regardless of what the rest of you may feel about reincarnation, it's something I consider to be a possibility. I don't want to drag all this negativity about myself into another lifetime! Talk about hauling around a psychic ball and chain.

Like the tattoo on my left outer calf says, born to lose, live to win. Thank you, Lemmy!

Before anyone decides that this is an appropriate moment to pop off about how much you hate tattoos, allow me to shut that nonsense down before it starts. I'm not forcing you to get a tattoo. This is my leg upon which I voluntarily got a tattoo that has personal meaning for me. I was 51 years old when I got this tattoo, thus, well and away old enough to decide whether such a thing was appropriate FOR ME.

You are welcome to not like or want tattoos. You are not welcome to tell me what I should or shouldn't like or want.

Seriously, I've had people start railing about their dislike of tattoos on a post where I was sharing a picture of a tattoo I had done in honor of a person who was terminally ill and who has since passed on. It was my first tattoo, and I was (and still am) quite proud of it. The person who felt it necessary to display their rudeness was, no doubt, trying to show everyone how stainless and pure they were by not having any of those icky tattoos. From my standpoint, they only managed to show their backside. Don't be that person.

Free Use Image by Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay
Ornery Literary Services
Will work for links and tips

Sharing with:

Good Stuff For Monday: Win Free Vanilla and More

Disclosure: I am an independent affiliate for Watkins Products

This post originated on the Good Stuff from Grover blog. However, I am sharing it with some of my other sites in case the opportunity may appeal to readers there as well.

Howdy, Grover Gang! It's the Ornery Old Lady here with a great giveaway and opportunity for my U.S. and Canadian readers, with apologies to my readers in other countries.

Every month, Watkins Products gives away $100 worth of extracts and spices. Wouldn't it be wonderful to win a free bottle of vanilla?

Watkins Products have been around since 1868. Choose from high-quality spices and extracts for cooking, grooming and home remedies made with pure and natural ingredients, and household products without harsh chemicals. These products are never tested on animals.

Unlike some home businesses which have monthly sales quotas and cost an exorbitant amount to join, Watkins consultants pay only $29.95 per year for access to the training website and their own page. You don't even have to recruit anyone or sell anything ever if you don't want to. You can simply use the membership to purchase products for your household at a reduced cost. This opportunity is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.

Happy Holidays from Cie the Ornery Old Lady and the entire crew at the Grover Hotel.

Monday, December 16, 2019

About Me Monday + Inner Champion Workbook: Chapter 2: Changes

Disclosure: If readers purchase a copy of this book through the preview link above, I earn a small commission from Amazon.

Greetings, fellow Crazy Creatives, and others. Today I am continuing my shared journey with the Inner Champion Workbook, which is an adjunct to the above autobiography by bodybuilder Lauren Powers. As I said in yesterday's post, this is a book that came as a complete surprise. I kept putting it to the bottom of my list of books for review because I thought it was a workout book. It isn't.

Today's chapter addresses changes. Let's get to it!

"Whether we’ve embraced it or not, we’ve all faced changes in our lives. In this chapter, identify some of the changes that you’ve experienced in your life. First, think of a change that happened to you that was out of your control. Then, think of a change that you actively made. How have these changes altered your journey? How can they be seen as contributing positively to your identity?"

Change that I made:
I no longer work for anyone else. I am not an employee or contractor. I am strictly a freelancer.

The reason I made the change:
Mostly out of necessity. My physical health took a few critical hits, and then I ended up moving to a remote location which is 50 miles from the nearest city. I do not have the strength or stamina to make 100-mile round trips to a job several times a week. I no longer have the strength to work the types of physically demanding night shift jobs that defined me for many years. Most clerical jobs are on the day shift, and I become severely depressed working day shifts because of my lifelong difficulty regulating my sleep. 

The impact it had on my life:
I am more stable emotionally, although I worry about my low income. However, I am not allowed to make more than $1100 a month or I lose Medicaid. Isn't that the stupidest thing you ever heard of? People outside of the United States often express their shock about our health care system. As someone who has been a victim of this system for a lifetime, I'm not shocked by it but remain appalled. A for-profit health care system exists to help nobody except for institutions gouging the ill and infirm.

Change that happened to me:
In 2017, my life changed forever. I was fired from my job after falling into a very deep sleep while sitting with a patient on the night shift. It is my contention that I had a TIA (transient ischemic attack). I was very sick with a severe respiratory infection that I had contracted from this patient. The coordinator insisted that I go to the job anyway, reasoning that I could not reinfect the patient because I had contracted the infection from him. The coordinator also used guilt, stating that "the family really needs you." 

A bit of further background to this story. My diabetes was becoming worse at this point. I wasn't yet using insulin but knew the day was coming soon when I would have to. I was working 60 hour weeks. I was afraid to say anything to my coordinator because he kept telling me that they were going to replace the primary nurse on the case with me since she had lupus and this meant that she called off sick a fair amount to manage her condition. So I kept my own health issues to myself, fearing that I would lose work if the company realized that my health was infirm.

After being fired from this job I picked up more shifts with a company where I was working one night once a month with a patient I'd worked with previously. I lost $4 per hour but ended up being able to go back to full time fairly quickly. However, this patient's condition declined, and he ended up in the hospital. The agency never got me another job.

I went to work delivering food for Uber Eats. I was actually losing money doing this job. I found work with a company called GoPuff, which is a subsidiary of GrubHub, delivering groceries. The onsite managers were great but GrubHub does not give a flying fuck about either its employees or its contractors. 

Many nights, one manager was left in the warehouse running around like a chicken with her head cut off to pack the orders while the other two managers switched over to driving. The drivers were given ridiculously large numbers of orders and GrubHub customer service couldn't be arsed to call the customers and tell them about the delays. The customers were always angry and took it out on the drivers. 

As many of the deliveries were in downtown Denver, I often had to park several blocks from the location and carry heavy loads, sometimes up several flights of stairs in buildings with no elevator. On one occasion, I almost fell through the rotting boards on a porch. 

I started noticing tingling and numbness in the fingers on my left hand but ignored it. The tingling progressed to mild and then moderate pain running from shoulder to fingertips and then transitioned to pain so severe that I was having trouble sitting up for more than about 45 minutes before I had to lie on the arm to try and numb it. I ended up quitting the job. I had to wait for two weeks before Medicaid kicked back in. The pain was so severe that I considered committing suicide. I may well have done so if not for the fact that I knew I would be able to get physical therapy once Medicaid kicked back in. That was my only hope.

Fortunately, physical therapy helped greatly. My arm went from being in constant severe pain to being in moderate pain with some bouts of severe pain. It progressed to being in mild pain with bouts of moderate pain and then, to my joy, to feeling like a lump of clay with bouts of mild pain. 

Unfortunately, Medicaid only pays for 12 sessions of physical therapy for any given issue. My arm remained in the "lump of clay" mode for about a year. It has since progressed to low-grade numbness and tingling, which is where it will probably remain for the rest of my life. I have to be careful about lifting too much with this arm.

Once I was able to return to work, I delivered food for Cluster Truck, a delivery-only restaurant, from December 2017 until June 2019, when I found the wonderful Grover Hotel and my son decided that this building was our best hope for having a place to live for life. As I said, Grover is 50 miles from anywhere, which is why I made the decision that given my health issues, it was best to work from home rather than attempting to find a position working for someone who would be flexible regarding my health issues.

The impact it had on my life:
For the most part, I really like what I do. I wish I could have/would have made this decision sooner. I have always hated working for other people. In spite of the fact that I liked the patients I cared for, I was extremely burned out on health care, and my body was badly compromised from years of neglecting to take care of myself while devoting myself to caring for others as well as from the health issues which are due to faults in my DNA, i.e., my trash fire endocrine system.

One positive aspect or life lesson from the event:
I have been able to get adequate rest for the first time in something on the order of 40 years. I was always the "I'll sleep when I'm dead" kind of person. I often don't sleep well at night, and even though I'm a night owl, the night shift will mess your body up. I was always in a fog. 

I never respected my body and always told myself to shut up and quit whining. While I don't think I will ever be able to "love" myself (that concept is completely foreign to me) I have learned to respect myself and to be better about not letting people walk all over me.

Free Use Image from Pixabay
Will work for tips and links

Read and Review Books with Authors XP, Booksprout, and Online Book Club

Ornery Owl 
Free Use Image from Pixabay

If you like reading and think you can write a worthwhile review, you can get free books and in some cases get paid for doing so. Here are three of the places where I find the books that I review.

This service is new to me. You can review books and also help authors through beta reading and proofreading. You get free books plus chances to win prizes.

Receive free advance copies of books to review.

New reviewers do a few reviews without pay. As you earn credit, you start being offered paid reviews. Online Book Club is currently my main source of income.

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Flashback: Inbox Dollars Tips: Search with Inbox Dollars

Young Richard Tracy knows that using Inbox Dollars search will earn him easy money for doing something he was already going to do.
(Free image from

Click the banner to share a Friday Flashback

This post was originally published on 29 November 2018 on Aunt Cie's Attic (formerly Deliver Me.) 

Disclosure: I am a member of and affiliate for Inbox Dollars. I am not going to get rich finding people to sign up for Inbox Dollars using my link. I will make a small commission. 
Inbox Dollars is one of the longest-running GPT sites. It is legitimate. You are not going to get rich signing up for Inbox Dollars. You will make a few dollars here and there. The payout is at $30. 

I've been taking surveys with Inbox Dollars for several years, but I only recently explored all the other ways of making money with Inbox Dollars.

One of the easiest ways is by using the Inbox Dollars search page. When you log into your account, there is a menu bar at the top of the main page. Choose the search option, and, voila, you will be earning for searches you were going to make anyway. It's that simple!

I find that the Inbox Dollars search works better on my computer than my phone. The page sometimes takes forever to load on my iPhone's Safari browser. So I generally play the mini-games on my phone instead. Yes, Inbox Dollars has games that they pay you to play! Who knew?

I'm currently stuck on level 23 of the bubble monkey game. Those stupid skulls suck, and so does my manual dexterity, let's be real.

The search page and the games (especially my beloved bubble monkey game) are just two reasons why Inbox Dollars is my favorite paid survey app. It's much more than paid surveys, and it is a legitimate survey company, unlike some I have had the misfortune of dealing with.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2019: Day 28: Grateful

Image by Matthias Cooper from Pixabay

grateful for what's here
a town far from everything
life in an old house
impossible dreams fade out
bittersweet acceptance in


Today's November PAD Chapbook Challenge prompt asked for a Gratitude poem.

People, you know me. I am not the sort to write heartwarming, Chicken Soup for the Soul, grateful for God and family and Better Homes and Gardens type poetry. I am an agnostic curmudgeon, and the only miracle here is that I'm still alive. They ain't found a way to kill me yet, and neither have I. I believe there is something that survives the death of the corporeal body, and I believe there are advanced spiritual forces which could be termed higher powers. I don't like the Church God, and although I'm willing to judge his followers on a case by case basis, I tend to be mightily skeptical of them.

I was raised Catholic and am the black sheep of a family that tried way too hard to keep up appearances. Today is the ninth anniversary of my father's passing. Although we had a sometimes contentious relationship and he passed his own insecurities down to me, he was a devoted father and I love him. I am glad he isn't suffering anymore. The last five years of his life were increasingly difficult. In the end, he really wasn't himself anymore.

I want to call my mother today. My mother is a loyal person who is too wrapped up in keeping up appearances to see the damage that mindset does. She has no idea who I actually am or what I'm really doing because anytime I have tried to tell her, she shuts me down and criticizes me, so I just let her think what she wants.

My brother and I were once the greatest of friends but now have a civil but distant relationship. 

I love my son with all my heart and soul. There are some hurts from the past from when my mental illness was as yet undiagnosed and my behavior was chaotic.

Leonard Cohen wrote the line "It's Father's Day and everybody's wounded."

I think the same could be said for most holidays.

If you're having a Better Homes and Gardens Thanksgiving, that's great, and I hope you enjoy it. I would just ask that you realize that this is not the case for everyone, and those of us who are unable to have Shiny Happy Holidays are not bad people or just feeling sorry for ourselves for attention. The hurt is real.

Just to lighten the load a bit, here's one of my favorites:

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp's Come As You Are Party + Ornery Musings: Why Book Reviews are Useful

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

As the late, great Shorty Medlocke used to say, howdy solks, I mean folks! If you don't know who Shorty Medlocke was, it's time for you to at the very least hit Wikipedia and brush up on your music history, and then go listen to some Blackfoot, where you can hear Shorty's grandson Rickey shred on some sadly underrated Southern rock masterpieces.

Sadly for you, this post is not about great blues musicians, twentieth-century radio hosts, or great guitarists. It's about book reviewers.

At the bottom of many posts, you will notice the image of a plump owl carrying a couple of books, one with a pentagram and one with an anarchist symbol. This owl is my alter-ego, my inner badass. Where I am infamous for apologizing for myself constantly and becoming defensive quickly, this owl never apologizes (unless she has actually done something wrong) and has no time for defensiveness. If she is under attack, she will fight back, but she doesn't harbor any of the insecurities that I do. Therefore, defensiveness is foreign to her. This owl is unapologetically, authentically herself.

Me, on the other hand, I tend to always wonder if I'm doing something (or anything) right. I am a horrible--I mean adorable--little (okay, large) bundle of insecurities. I have both physical and psychological disabilities, and I also have ADD and dyslexia. Dyslexia does not have only one manifestation, by the way. I read most things clearly, and I'm a relly gud spelur. My dyslexia tends to present itself with numbers more than words, and I have a great deal of trouble with tests involving pattern recognition, which led to me being labeled borderline retarded when I was in the sixth grade. That label was a thermonuclear hit to my already severely compromised self-esteem, particularly when one of my nastier classmates overheard my parents and the school psychologist discussing it in the hallway and proceeded to ask my father if I really was borderline retarded, to which he naively replied, "yes, I'm afraid so," rather than telling her to run along as he should have.

So, here I am in my fifties with a lifetime of abject failures behind me, disabled and living in poverty, and I review books for a living. Seriously, that is how I eke out a living, and sometimes I become rather cynical about it. Here I am, doing something completely useless yet again because being useless is my M.O. in life. I would do very poorly as something like a virtual administrative assistant or customer service agent. I have moderate anxiety about talking to people on the phone, and if I get bored, I get distracted. I would be fired from these jobs fairly quickly. However, I can read books. These days I prefer e-books because of my vision and because they don't take up space on my shelves. I also enjoy listening to audiobooks. 

Anyway, I possess the ability to read, opinions are like assholes, and I am an asshole with an opinion. So I sneaked in the back door at the Online Book Club and tried my hand at doing reviews for them. My first few reviews were unpaid, and then I started getting paid for my efforts. Doing reviews for paid review services like Online Book Club means that I can do reviews on request for independent authors without charging money. My costs for an independent review are as follows:

If the book is available on Amazon, you give me permission to have an affiliate link in my review post. You won't pay me a cent, but if someone buys the book through the link, Amazon will pay me a few cents.

If you like the review, you provide a link to it on social media.

You understand that providing me with a copy of your book does not guarantee a positive review. There may be reviewers who get their rocks off writing negative reviews and destroying authors' dreams. I am not one of them. I love giving positive reviews. With most of my less stellar reviews, I find that the problem with the book tends not to be the story itself, but the execution and lack of proper editing. By the way, I am also available as a beta reader.

Very rarely do I give scathing reviews. On the occasions that I have done so, it is because I find the author to be an odious jerk with awful opinions who targets vulnerable people for ridicule.

You may be saying (as I sometimes do), "well, that's all fine and good, Cie, but the world wouldn't stop turning if all the book reviewers were abducted by aliens. Book reviewers do not provide vital services such as emergency services personnel, medical personnel, construction workers, mechanics,  teachers, grocery clerks, customer service personnel, cleaning crews, or, pretty much anyone else provides. Reviewing books is fluffy stuff and isn't a real job. Like, you know, the kind of work that you claim you can't do anymore but probably could if you tried, and don't give me that 'but I can't walk very far or very fast, I can't stand up for long periods of time or my back will start hurting, or, but my diabetes fucks with me and starts making me weak and confused' bit!"

Well, you hopefully don't say that last part, but my inner voice is, not to put too fine a point on it, an absolute twat. Anyway, the overall gist is, most people find book reviewers to be non-essential members of society, and I sometimes feel angry at myself for doing a job that most people see as sprinkles on a cake, not even icing or pretty decorations, just sprinkles. The kind of sprinkles that come in a jar and you pay a couple bucks for them and you sprinkle them on your kid's birthday cake and it makes the kid happy. Except that I have the potential to make people's inner children unhappy with my words.

However, today I read a wonderful review from one of my fellow Online Book Club reviewers, and I would like to share that review and my thoughts on it with you. Please follow this link to read it.

Here is a copy of my comment for the reviewer:

Thank you for your lovely, descriptive review. I had tears in my eyes reading it. Although I grew up in a home with both parents present my family was inadvertently emotionally abusive and didn't understand someone like me at all as they were very perfectionistic and I had learning and psych issues (I have type 2 bipolar disorder that wasn't correctly diagnosed until I was almost 40.) I did a lot of the same things that Eva did, moving out with my now-ex-husband when I was 19, being divorced by 29, having a string of abusive relationships. I really appreciate reviews like yours which tell me everything I need to know about a book, even better than simply reading a sample. Have a good day.

Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks. While being a book reviewer is not an essential occupation such as those mentioned in the previous paragraph, nor is it a meaningless occupation. Too many bullies calling themselves critics have given a bad name to critiquing. A professional critic should endeavor to be kind, discussing the best aspects of a work while, if necessary pointing out areas needing improvement.

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Free use image from Pixabay
Cie reviews books and is no longer ashamed to claim it as her profession.
She is also available as a beta reader

I'll bet that some of you would like to know which book I was referring to when praising my fellow reviewer. Well, now you know and can get yourself a copy! 
Disclosure: If readers purchase a copy of this book through the preview link, I receive a small commission from Amazon.

Friday, November 22, 2019

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2019: Day 22: Mr. Perfect (Tanka)

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

he's honed his image
everything is perfection
on point tip to toe
such a perfect gentleman
until he takes off the mask


Today's November PAD Chapbook challenge asked for a poem about Mr. (blank). So I wrote about the kind of guy who has the perfect image but behind the mask lurks a monster. I've known a few of these guys.

I am finally caught up with the November PAD Chapbook Challenge prompts!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ornery Reviews: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Historical Fiction/Romance

Five out of Five Stars on Amazon, Audible, and Goodreads

This is a duplicate of my review on Amazon and Goodreads.
If readers purchase a copy of the book in any format by going through the above link, I will earn a small commission from Amazon.

This wicked book ruined my life.
I am fairly certain that the only reason the authors wrote this story was to let aspiring authors like me see that we don't have a chance of ever writing something this good.
I used to have ambitions. Now my only goal is to sit on the couch listening to this story over and over again while loom-knitting scarves for the rest of my existence.

I truly feel that Audible is the best way to enjoy this story. I was picturing it in my mind the whole time while finally making great headway on a scarf that I've been slowly knitting since last year. Listening to this book was an amazing experience. There are so many wonderful characters that you will meet and love, and a few that you will meet and loathe.

The format is innovative. Set in 1946, the story is told in a series of letters. One meets each unique character through the letters he or she writes. While there is plenty of fun and intrigue, the book also touches on the horrors of war in occupied areas as well as the bombings in London and the atrocities committed by the Nazis. 

I laughed. I sobbed. I cheered. I even shouted aloud at one point: "Girlfriend, DUMP HIM!" 

I must warn you that there is one truly awful part of this story.


I wanted it to go on forever.

Also, if you loved the book as much as I did, you may well hate the Netflix movie rendition as much as I did. It was a complete waste of a wonderful cast and made me want to throw things at my computer screen. Why would you take the absolutely amazing story you'd been given and change the details so much that viewers might well think that they were watching a version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society starring Spongebob Squarepants and Sandy Cheeks filmed by Patrick Starr and directed by Squidward on Opposite Day. Catering provided by The Krusty Krab. Transportation provided by Mrs. Puff's Boating School.

Actually, that version would probably make me less angry than the one on Netflix did. It's not like I expect high art from Spongebob and Company.

Here are my answers to the questions from the Insecure Writers Support Group Book Club.

1. Did you like reading the story through the device of letters?

I thought this was a wonderfully innovative plot device! It allowed for various characters to express themselves each in their own unique way.

2. What was your favorite and/or least favorite part?

I wouldn't say there was a least favorite part, although some parts of the story made me sad. I really enjoyed the friendships made and maintained through the letters. I envied the powerful connections formed by the characters.

3. What part made you cry the most? (Or at least get teary-eyed?)

What happened to Elizabeth was tremendously unfair. It was sad that her daughter would never really get to know her.

4. Isola said “reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.” Do you agree with that? Why or why not?

Nah. I can still enjoy reading bad books even after reading this book, just so long as they're the kind that are so bad they're good. I enjoy trash literature sometimes.

5. Which member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society did you relate to (or like) the most?

I liked Isola. She was a free spirit who did her own thing.

BONUS QUESTION. If you’ve read the book and seen the movie, which format did you like more (book or film)?

Because I loved the book so much, I hated the film. They changed some of my favorite aspects of the story, such as the friendships Juliette formed before ever visiting the island. In the film, most of the residents of the island were hostile to her, which was the opposite of what happened in the book. Reinterpreting this wonderful story was the wrong move.

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Free use image from Pixabay

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Flashback: Why I Wouldn't take a Cure for my Bipolar Disorder


Note for those who are sensitive about profanity:
This post contains it.
It is also snarky.
So is the a-hole who wrote it.
Just sayin'.

Now, here is something that will blow y'all's minds.

If there were a cure for bipolar disorder, I wouldn't take it.

I know a lot of folks are saying "but why wouldn't you want to fix this thing that is wrong with you?"

First, you may have heard about people who have had procedures done to restore their sight or hearing after years of being blind or deaf, and they have trouble adapting to the world with this new sense. They have learned to "hear" by feeling vibrations, or to "see" by touch and sound. The new sense throws their perception off.

I would not know how to think and feel without bipolar disorder. I would have a lot of trouble adapting. I might even become suicidal.

Further, I have come to believe that this anomaly doesn't make me "wrong." It makes me different. The world is too quick to deem difference in cognition or physical ability a bad thing which needs to be repaired. I think it would be a better world if we embraced people who deviate from the norm rather than shaming them into conformity or isolation.

Would I take a cure for my endocrine problems?

In a heartbeat! I would love to not have to stab myself in the abdomen with a needle before every meal. I would love to not have to worry about whether I will one day develop diabetic neuropathy or start losing my vision because of diabetes. I would love to not have increased risk of vascular malfunction because of this dumb disease. I would love to have a thyroid that actually works. I would rather not have had polycystic ovarian syndrome. My endocrine system is a cluster fuck. If someone could cure this mess, I would be thrilled.

If someone could cure my glaucoma, I would be over the moon.

I don't want my bipolar disorder cured. I have navigated the world with it for pretty much my entire life. To completely change the way my brain works would be frightening and, I think, detrimental.

But if someone could start working on cures for my physical ailments, I'd really appreciate it.

 ~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Ornery Reviews: Happy Healing and a Testimony

Nonfiction/Health/Alternative Medicine

Four out of Four Stars for Online Book Club

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If readers purchase a copy of the book through the above preview link, I earn a small commission from Amazon.

As I explain in my Online Book Club review, this book does not fall into the category of mysticism or metaphysics. Although the author occasionally suggests what might be interpreted as prayer, the techniques outlined in Happy Healing are self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is not a new treatment, but the approaches offered in the book are novel.

In my review, I offer a story of how the techniques in Happy Healing helped me come to peace with the injury which led to my being unable to continue working at my job delivering groceries and alcoholic beverages.

Two years ago, I worked for a company called GoPuff, which is a subsidiary of GrubHub. I advise that no-one work for any subsidiary of GrubHub because they do not care one iota about the well-being of either their employees or their contractors. They never had enough drivers on the schedule on weekend nights. They would have four managers in the warehouse. Three of the managers would switch over to driving, leaving one manager running around like a chicken with her head cut off. I have nothing bad to say about any of the onsite managers. They worked very hard. GrubHub, however, gets no love from me.

I started feeling tingling in my left hand, which I ignored. I was carrying very heavy loads, sometimes over distances of several blocks because the deliveries were often in the middle of downtown Denver and there was no place to park, sometimes up several flights of stairs in buildings where there were no elevators. One time I almost fell through a porch that had rotting wood. Many times, the stoners who would order from us wouldn't answer the door. After pounding on the door for several minutes, I would call the warehouse and the manager would call the customer. There were times when the manager couldn't reach the customer either. I liked those customers better than the ones who would cuss me out because the delivery was made several hours after they ordered it and GrubHub customer service couldn't be bothered to call and tell them it was going to be late.

There was no interim "this is getting worse" with my arm. It went from numbness and tingling in my hand to unbearable pain from shoulder to fingertips. At that point, I had no insurance. I had to quit working so I could get Medicaid back. I couldn't sit up for more than about 45 minutes before the pain in the arm became unbearable and I had to lie down on it to numb it. I have lived most of my life with chronic widespread low-grade to mid-grade pain due to fibromyalgia. Chronic severe pain is a different animal entirely. There were times when I very seriously considered suicide because the pain was so intense. I forced myself to wait until I had Medicaid so I could get physical therapy.

Although I was already sympathetic, I came to a personal realization of exactly how people in chronic pain become addicted to painkillers. When you are in chronic intense pain, the thing you want most is for the pain to stop, and you will do anything to achieve that. If you have never endured intense pain, imagine that someone was whacking your arm repeatedly with a hammer--hard. That's what chronic intense pain is like. Sufferers of chronic intense pain just want relief. How anyone can fail to understand that very simple idea is beyond me. Sanctimoniousness never helped anyone.

Back to my story. The physical therapy helped greatly. My arm went from being in constant severe pain to constant mid-grade pain with flares of severe pain to constant low-grade pain with flares of mid-grade pain to feeling like a lump of clay with flares of low-grade to mid-grade pain. Unfortunately, Medicaid only pays for twelve sessions of physical therapy per injury, so that was where things leveled out, and I was very grateful. Over time, the arm regained enough sensation that it no longer feels like a lump of clay. It is always slightly numb and I do not have a full range of motion in the shoulder area, but it is a vast improvement over being in constant intense pain which makes me consider suicide.

One of the exercises presented in Happy Healing involves giving the body part in pain a name and "talking" to that part. I named my arm Amelia. As I talked to Amelia, I realized that I was still angry with her for betraying me and making it so that I couldn't work physically demanding jobs such as delivering packages anymore. I also realized that Amelia had been trying to warn me that something was going wrong, and I ignored her to my detriment. I apologized to Amelia for blaming her for what happened and promised to listen to her (and the rest of my body) in the future.

As a result of reading and engaging in the exercises outlined in Happy Healing, I have a truce with my body and am no longer as prone to pushing myself to the point of collapse or injury. I appreciate this book and think that it was useful and helpful. The author's approach may seem a bit "goofy" to the more skeptical sorts, but I recommend trying the exercises. I didn't really think I'd get much from them when I started reading the book, but they turned out to be surprisingly beneficial.

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Free Use Image from Pixabay

Monday, October 28, 2019

Ornery Reviews: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat

Genre: Animals, Mystery (Middle-Grade)

Rating: Four out of Four Stars for the Online Book Club
Five out of Five stars on Amazon

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If readers purchase the book through the above link, I receive a small commission from Amazon.
This review is a duplicate of my review on Amazon.

Read my official Online Book Club review for this book here.

Although this wonderfully imaginative story is especially excellent for young girls with its self-reliant and plucky feline heroine, it is also a fun tale for any mystery lover, young or old, boy or girl. This decidedly not-young reader (age 54) received a review copy and was delighted by the antics of Inca. This determined little Siberian cat leads readers through an educational adventure as she solves the mystery of a sword stolen from the Colombo museum in Sri Lanka.

For an adult reader, it was nice to be able to focus on the aspects of intrigue and suspense without having to worry about overt violence cropping up. Besides, it's hard not to smile about a mystery-solving cat.

~Cie AKA The Ornery Old Lady~

Free use image from Pixabay

Ghost Town Grover Sez:
"I tried to tell Cactus Clem that the Old Lady's cats would jest use him fer a scratchin' post, but he insisted on readin' 'em this story anyways."

Cactus Clem Sez:
Heck, Grover, I don't mind. I've got a tough hide, and I reckoned that maybe if them cats heard this here story about a cat that solves mysteries, it might inspire 'em to make their own detective agency and earn some money to pay fer their tuna fish an' stuff.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Haiku My Heart + OctPoWriMo 2019: Day 25: White: A Senryu

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

why do some wish to
stain the white snow red with blood
to steal the white fur?


image copyright juliahenze
Cie's activist alter-ego Sly Fawkes has been on a tear the past couple of days.

Friday Flashback Repost: A Love Letter to E.A.

This was originally posted at Aunt Cie's Attic (formerly Deliver Me) on October 25, 2018.
I have since become too disabled to work outside the home. I currently work entirely from home blogging and freelancing. My primary source of income comes from book reviews.

The majority of my book review income is from paid work via professional review sites such as Online Book Club. A small portion comes from commissions made via Amazon affiliate links to books I have reviewed. I do not and will never charge a fee to an independent author for a review. The only payment I ask from an independent author is a link back to my review if they like it, and permission for me to provide an affiliate link to their book on Amazon if it is available on Amazon.

If you are interested in having me review your book or provide beta reader or proofreading/editing services, click here. Payment for my beta reader services is a link on your site or in a post to my services page if you think I've done a good job and permission for me to provide an affiliate link to your book on Amazon if it is made available via Amazon.

And now, on with the REpost!

This comment that I left on the Sims Freeplay Facebook page is "under review." I am sure it will never see the light of day there, but that doesn't mean I won't publish it elsewhere.

Not allowing players to finish collecting the items they were crafting when a quest ends is a serious dick move. Surely it isn't a cash grab at all to instead offer the chance to pay ludicrous amounts of money to complete the project without even allowing players to finish collecting the items they were crafting at the end.

This sort of thing is predatory at best. I guarantee that there are not a ton of millionaires playing games like this. A lot of faithful players are disabled and don't have money to spare.

For my own part, I have been sick with a severe respiratory infection this past week. I finally fell asleep at dawn after being up all night coughing. I left my Sims working on one last set of crafts.

When I woke up and sat there coughing up yellow crap for about 10 minutes, I then injected my insulin and went to collect the final items. Lo and behold, I was not allowed to do that. But there was this very generous and not at all predatory offer to finish the quest for the low price of $70.

I don't have $70 just lying about, and neither do many of your faithful players.

I am not so disabled that I can't work at all, but have severe enough health problems that I can only work part time and am on Medicaid.

I am probably stupid for continuing to play this game, but I love the characters and the interaction with them helps distract me from my deteriorating health.

Shame on EA for their predatory practices.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Real Cie Reviews: Of Illusions and Ink Spills


Four out of Four stars for Online Book Club
Five out of Five Stars for Amazon

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If readers purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I receive a small commission from Amazon.
This review is a duplicate of my review on Amazon.

You can read my exclusive review of this book for the Online Book Club here.

If you like your poetry untamed and not afraid to wander off the beaten path, then Divya Hirani's short volume of playful, avant-garde verse is the book for you.

These free-verse poems explore a myriad of ideas in an almost laid-back fashion. Some might call the tone of the poetry depressive. These works are actually closer to grungy, viewing the world through a realist's somewhat jaded but not ready to give up lenses. If these poems were characters, they would be introspective loners walking resolutely through the shadow of life with a low spark of humor twinkling in their eyes as they took in the sometimes absurd scenes around them.


Free use image from Pixabay

Monday, October 7, 2019

Real Cie Reviews + Hearth and Soul Link Party + Inspire Me Monday #246 + Promote Yourself Monday: Burn Zones

(Subtopics: entrepreneurship)

Four out of Four stars at Online Book Club
Five out of Five stars on Amazon

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
If you purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I will earn a small commission.

As a book reviewer, it makes me very happy when I can enthusiastically recommend a book.

Jorge Newberry's Burn Zones makes me very happy. 

Not only is this fascinating autobiography extremely well-written, through its pages I discovered a kind soul who truly cares about others. 

Jorge is the sort of person that this world needs more of. 

He takes it upon himself to understand the mindset of the people he encounters and to show compassion to those that society at large tends to judge harshly.

Like most power players, Jorge has an intense personality. But he understands that not everyone is wired the way he is. He is also uncompromising in his approach to himself, describing not only his strengths but his potential shortcomings.

Jorge Newberry has a humble, honest, personable style. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Burn Zones and recommend it without reservation. If you enjoy real-life stories and appreciate those who think of others before themselves, I believe that Burn Zones is a great choice for your next read.